Nov 9, 2020

Who Do You Need?

Part 2: Courageous

Written by Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

Last week I talked about how Clientek looks for people who are curious, willing to learn, and open to trying new things. Today, I’d like to focus on another essential characteristic: courage.

John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway”. As he implies, courage is not the lack of fear, but rather the ability to act while afraid. When I first became a paratrooper, I was told that if I ever stopped being afraid of jumping out of a plane then I should quit. Without fear, I would not be as alert and focused on the task at hand.

At first, there does not seem to be much about delivering software that would require courage but let’s walk through some situations we consistently ask our teams to encounter; and why courage is so valuable for them and to us.

Transparency. We invite our customers to participate in our daily standups and most join us every day. This means that our teams are asked to discuss both projects successes as well as project failures directly in-front of the customer. The ability to discuss your failures in front of not only your peers, but your supervisors and customers requires significant courage.

Disagreements. The projects we execute are both greatly important and complicated. This means that there is often a lot at stake for our customers and emotions can run high. This also means that there will be disagreements along the way. Having to walk a customer through why their idea is not the best fit for the project is terrifying and fraught with peril. Our leaders must be able to do this to ensure we deliver the best solution possible to our customers.

Requesting Help. This may be the most important and overlooked need for courage of them all. We need employees that are willing to reach out and get help on a problem as soon as possible. I like to tell our guys that I’d rather resolve a problem in 2 hours with 4 people than for them to solve it themselves over the course of 2 days. Being able to recognize that you need help and then asking for it might require the most courage of all.

There are so many other situations in which courage is invaluable. Fear will always be present in our lives, so having the courage to do what is right and to carry on is probably one of the most important characteristics that we can possess.


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